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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I picked up my Ebony ABS yesterday. Got home late so I didn't have time to try it out. This morning, I took it out for a ride. Let's just say I suck.

Keep in mind, it was my first time on a bike, ever. I had zero experience and everything I learned beforehand was from the internet.

Couple of things I noticed;
-Throttle Sensitivity. My lord, letting it go slightly makes my chest shoot forward.
-I stall the bike. Alot. I'm terrible at getting it going.
-Very Heavy to me.
-Can't flatfoot.

Every bump I hit makes my wrist twist which just makes it worse. It's fast and slow, fast and slow without any control when I hit bumps. I got around this by doing something stupid, and now it's become habit. (I'll get on that later in the post.)

I don't really know the perfect place to start moving the bike. Using the throttle too early just revs the engine, doing it too late stalls it.

Shifting gears is very... Jerky. Up-shifting will shoot the bike forward and downshifting will shoot the bike backward, which shoots me forward. It's not exactly smooth shifting. I'm pretty sure I have to release the throttle a bit while up-shifting and use more when down-shifting, but I could be wrong.

My turns a little wide at times. We have 90 degree turns from stops everywhere, and if I accelerate quickly in the turn it puts me on the other side of the road. This isn't safe, and the only solution I can think of is slow down, turn more, or lean a little bit more than I am.

It's so Heavy to move. I'm afraid I'm going to drop it because it's so heavy to me. I'm a weak guy, so the weight bothers me. I have to turn it around manually and back it up into the garage.

I can't flatfoot. I can get both the tips of my feet down, but that's about it. I don't really want to lower the bike or cut the seat so I think I'll have to deal with it. I usually just put one foot down when I stop anyway.

Any tips for these problems would be appreciated, but those aren't my only problems.

I've created two bad habits.

Firstly, to get around the bump and twist problem, I started to hold the throttle side of the handle by it's edge. Two fingers are on the metal, and two are on the accelerator. This is a problem because I can't reach the front brake doing this.

Secondly, I never use the back brake. My stopping is terrible. From 50km/h, just letting go of the throttle can stop me extremely quickly. I usually gradually let it go when I near the stop, and then crawl up in first to the stop sign. As I reach it, I pull the clutch and the front brake in. This stops me, and I release the brake, check around, and then slowly try to release the clutch until I feel the bike start to move, so I use the throttle. This gets me going.

These are two bad habits that I will have to break. Any tips for this will also be appreciated.


I'm going to take the safety course as soon as I can, but until then, I'll be teaching myself. I need help though, because failing like this is pretty embarrassing.

Even though I have all these problems, I love it. The bike is beautiful and I love the feel of riding it. These problems will not keep me from riding. I'll just have to learn how to ride properly. :eek:


EDIT: Also, I'm hearing some sort of popping sound from the rear when I let off the throttle. Is this normal?
 

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wow, some extremely bad habits you have there need to get those sorted out before you have an accident.

have a read thru my tips for new riders in my signature below theres some books / dvds , buy them and study them
 

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The 300 feels very light to me, and this is all relative to your experience moving bikes. I am only 5'3" (but decently strong for my size). But, a lot of it is really technique, not brute strength. I also have experience moving much-bigger bikes; a GSX-R 750 for a while and before that an R1 and a GSX-R 600. Moving the 300 after that felt light, and the bike feels very narrow too.

One trick I use for moving the 300 is to lean it against me and roll it around in neutral. It actually works great, and gives you 3 points of contact. Some guys can roll bikes around just by the handlebars, but I don't do that. Never liked it. I also lean the bike when turning it (against me) because of my method and it works nicely for backing it up, rolling it forward, etc. Try it! Use the front brake too (when you need to stop it).

Since I'm short, this method is great when backing the bike up a hill or out of gravel. I couldn't really back the bike while sitting on it in these situations...even if I wanted to.

Have you taken your MSF or learner's class? If you're new to riding, you really just need proper bike-training.

Shifting gears smoothly comes in time. Same with cornering.
 

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Welcome to riding.don't be disheartened.....just keep practising. Wow...where to start? I would just go to and empty carpark and start by practising slow speed stuff to get use to balance and feel. Find the friction point of the clutch and just practise your starts and stops....do it as many times as it takes to find that point where revs match the point when the clutch starts to engage the gears and the bike moves on. The ninjas clutch friction point is nearly always near when the clutch is fully released. You will get used to it in no time at all.
Keep practising.. confidence will grow quickly.

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Yeah, I've never handled I bike before...
Also, get the service manual for your 300 (PDF or book) and then adjust your clutch friction-zone. Make it so it's more comfortable. The 300's clutch is supposed to be easier for new riders, but I found it to be one of the trickier clutches I've used on any bike. The friction zone is tiny and super far from the left grip. However, you can adjust this with your clutch locknuts and you can get adjustable levers, too. I have Pazzo adjustable levers.
 

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My suggestion... STOP RIDING! Until you take your MSF course. I never rode or touched a motorcycle until two weeks ago. The first thing I did was take the course. The course I took was a two day basic course. They will teach you how to ride from the very beginning. The only requirement is that you can ride a bicycle. You learn...

Using the clutch including how to feather for smooth starts and shifts
Engine braking
Stopping including how to stop in emergencies
Swerving
Accelerating out of corners
Changing gears
Leaning
Turning slow
Using our signals
Backing up
Parking

I started the course like you. After the two days I had the right habits and was riding smoothly and safe. There were many people in my course that had ridden before and it was difficult for them to break habits. The course doesn't just show you once. The instructors make you complete obstacles over and over until you have them perfect and are comfortable.

My first ride on my 300 was really good. I felt confident, didn't stall once, had smooth starts. Was able to confidently go around the city and out on the freeway with big trucks and never felt scared.

I know I have no experience, but I know how you feel. Take the course before you think about riding or practicing on your own again. You don't want to be unprepared or have to unlearn bad habits.

On a side note... The MSF course in Washington gets you your endorsement automatically. In Washington... No endorsement means impounded bike if you get pulled over. As a matter of fact I was pulled over by a police after the first half hour on my bike. I wasn't doing anything wrong. He was checking my license and endorsement because my permit was out-of-state. All was good and I was on my way.

Just my two cents...

MSF
http://online2.msf-usa.org/msf/Default.aspx#


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The popping on deceleration is normal. Don't sweat it. I hope you at least have a permit to ride the bike right now. You can seriously hose yourself if something happens while riding and you don't have the permit or license to be riding.

On the riding over bumps part, loosen up your arms and keep them slightly bent. Your dragging the throttle when you go over bumps because they're locked and fully extended. Instead of acting like pistons or shock absorbers, they're more like large levers. Also stand a little bit on the pegs to use your legs as shock absorbers as well. This will help kill most of the energy from the bump into your legs and less of it will travel up to the arms.

Secondly, you gotta get used to using your rear brake. But you have to do it very progressively and gently. The more front brake you use, the less rear brake pressure you can use. It's due to the weight transfer. As more weight is transferring to the front wheel, the less braking force is available to the rear due to the loss of weight which reduces the available traction on the rear. Using the rear brake alone and engine braking will also cause a forward weight transfer. You also have to be careful when going down a hill. Don't be scared to use the rear brake but also don't be overusing and stomping the hell out of that pedal. The rear brake is one of the easiest ways to get in trouble and it's very easy to misuse it, but it's required to use it in order to maximizing your braking.

Try and keep to very low populated areas and find a parking lot that's nearly abandoned and empty. If you're on a permit, you probably have a low light restriction (can't ride at night.) so try not risking anything and riding at night or in poor visibility conditions. Sounds like when you're turning, you're jumping on the throttle too hard too soon and half the time not fully looking where you want to go. When you come to a 90 degree right (stop sign, light etc,) slow down as much as you feel you need to make the turn BEFORE making your corner and turn. Now this DOESN'T mean coming to a near complete stop to make said turn either and potentially getting rear ended or dropping the bike. Once you slow down as you need to, hold your throttle to maintain speed and look high and as far down where you want to go as possible and follow through. You don't accelerate through the turn till you're about 2/3 of the way through the turn then you can start to smoothly roll on the throttle. Don't worry about lean angle. Leaning DOES NOT turn the bike more. The bike's angle is a symptom of turning, not the other way around. So many riders make the mistake thinking it's the leaning that causes the turns or leaning more will make the turn sharper when it doesn't. Steering/Counter-steering does all the works and the leaning is a side effect of speed and steering angle. While you CAN affect the lean angle by adjusting your overall CG to get more clearance. Don't worry about it as a newbie.

Sounds like you really need to focus on throttle and clutch control first of all. Find that practice space and practice slowly getting a hang of the throttle and clutch. Use Cruizin's new rider links for tips and instructions for everything and keep it safe and make sure you're legal. Getting caught riding illegally can get your bike taken away, ban you for a time for getting your license and potentially prevent you from getting insured later on down the line for a long time.

Remember, slow is fast. Take it slow and easy and don't overdo it. When you go out riding take a friend with you to follow you in a car in case you have an issue or just need a boost of confidence. Stay safe and hopefully you get into an MSF BRC course soon. :)

Edit: Also as far as weight, you aren't really going to find too many lighter motorcycles than this one. There are scooters heavier than this bike. It's all about getting used to the weight, technique and remembering that the further it gets away from it's central balance point, the heavier it's going to feel. My first bike weighed 700lbs and a buddy's bagger weighs 1090lbs. Also I would like to echo, if you can exercise a little self restraint, waiting till AFTER your MSF BRC course to start practicing is greatly preferred over jumping into the deep end right off the bat. Unlike our parents and grand parents, we have the luxury of having a basic riders course to learn from. Matter as well take every advantage we can to get the upper hand.
 

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Please take the safety class. That said,

Do have have riding boots? They might give you just enough height to reach the ground confidently.

The clutch and throttle are kinda touchy (very on/off) on the 300 IMO but you get used to it. It's ok to slip the clutch a bit to get going. Get your friction zone stuff down pat before doing anything else. And keep your head up like the guy in the video.


Keep your weight off the bars and relax your arms. Don't use your arms to support your upper body weight. Squeeze the tank with your knees.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
I'm perfectly legal to drive it, I have the license, registration, and insurance.
While it would be a good idea to stop driving until I take the course, I don't really think that's an option... ;)

I live in a very small town, not many cars and no street lights. There is ONE parking lot. I could go there, but it's a school parking lot so I can only go on weekends...

My main focus is trying to perfect the throttle/clutch.

EDIT: I'll be as safe as I can be, I'm taking everything slowly.
 

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I'm perfectly legal to drive it, I have the license, registration, and insurance.
While it would be a good idea to stop driving until I take the course, I don't really think that's an option... ;)

I live in a very small town, not many cars and no street lights. There is ONE parking lot. I could go there, but it's a school parking lot so I can only go on weekends...

My main focus is trying to perfect the throttle/clutch.

EDIT: I'll be as safe as I can be, I'm taking everything slowly.
Then only go on weekends. No prizes for first place when it comes to learning how to ride.

Im with others, take the course. You may be legal to ride the bike, but doesnt mean you know how to and getting on a bike untrained is the same as operating any other piece of machinery untrained........you are a danger to yourself and other road users.

And there are gonna be people that will say "ahh its all good just jump on and ride, its the only way to learn". No. There are courses or driving lessons for that. And they would be of a different opinion if it was them that you crashed into at 60MPH in a panic grab.
 

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I'm not so sure I agree with most of the other replies. (You might want to note I too have very little riding experience though - about 350km).

You seem like a responsible guy/gal, the way you identify where you might be doing things wrong and wanting to fix them. You also appear to be extremely eager about getting out there and riding. To me, those two things are what you need if you're going to learn by yourself for the time being (until the safety course). TBH, I didn't learn almost anything at my MSF course. Yeah sure you ride around in a closed course, but my first days on the real road I was making the same mistakes as you - wide turns, throttle control issues, etc.

It looks like your area isn't that busy with people and traffic, I say take advantage of it. Use the stop signs as an opportunity to improve clutch control, get to know the bike and how it behaves to certain actions. I'm not worried about you because it sounds like safety is your main priority and that's how it should be.

To address those issues you were saying...

1) You have to get used to keeping a steady (but not deadly) grip on the bars. Bend your elbows and make your wrists comfortable. Try increasing the grip slightly while going over the bump and then try decreasing the grip slightly when you go over another bump. See which method improved the problem and repeat.

2) It's not ONLY throttle on or throttle off. You also have the clutch. Use it for coasting. Letting is go slowly will ease up that "jerk" motion where the bike goes back and your chest goes forward from slowing down quickly.

Ride safe and good luck! I was in your shoes very recently. It's one of the funnest phases in riding I think ;)
 

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I'm not so sure I agree with most of the other replies. (You might want to note I too have very little riding experience though - about 350km).

You seem like a responsible guy/gal, the way you identify where you might be doing things wrong and wanting to fix them. You also appear to be extremely eager about getting out there and riding. To me, those two things are what you need if you're going to learn by yourself for the time being (until the safety course). TBH, I didn't learn almost anything at my MSF course. Yeah sure you ride around in a closed course, but my first days on the real road I was making the same mistakes as you - wide turns, throttle control issues, etc.

It looks like your area isn't that busy with people and traffic, I say take advantage of it. Use the stop signs as an opportunity to improve clutch control, get to know the bike and how it behaves to certain actions. I'm not worried about you because it sounds like safety is your main priority and that's how it should be.

To address those issues you were saying...

1) You have to get used to keeping a steady (but not deadly) grip on the bars. Bend your elbows and make your wrists comfortable. Try increasing the grip slightly while going over the bump and then try decreasing the grip slightly when you go over another bump. See which method improved the problem and repeat.

2) It's not ONLY throttle on or throttle off. You also have the clutch. Use it for coasting. Letting is go slowly will ease up that "jerk" motion where the bike goes back and your chest goes forward from slowing down quickly.

Ride safe and good luck! I was in your shoes very recently. It's one of the funnest phases in riding I think ;)
Someone who is truly responsible would wait till they are fully trained to use the vehicle before putting others in danger by operated their vehicle untrained on public roads. He/she has absolutely zero clue as to safe practices and handling of a motorcycle atm because he/she is untrained in them. To say you feel that they would be fine because you feel they are safe is being irresponsible as well. You don't just throw your keys to someone who's never driven before and only has a permit and tell them to be safe and have fun. It's like throwing a grenade out into the world with no clue when or where it'll go off. While the mistakes the OP is making are common newbie mistakes, the BRC greatly reduces the learning curve and time involved in learning and adapting to riding as a new rider. When could take the OP weeks or months, could only take a few days to a week to accomplish using the training and information gained from the BRC.

1. Tightening your grip is never the answer to anything other than bull riding and keeping on top of your woman after you said something stupid in the passion of the moment. If you tighten your grip, you will amplify all motions and energy being sent through your body and through the suspension back into the controls making maintaining control even harder and worse than it already is. Also when you grip harder, it takes your total control from fine motor skills to more of a gross motor skill function. Your going to be using larger muscles to do control inputs which will result in over-steering and then over-correcting much more often. The control of a motorcycle is primarily a fine motor skill function. You can make steering inputs with the strength in just a finger. You don't need to hang on the bars and ride it like you're trying to take a bull down. It's a fun test to do later on down the line to understand counter-steering. As you are going forward, make a tiny input into the controls and the bike will make a pretty good steering input. Doesn't take much force at all to steer the motorcycle around.

2. Clutch work is important to relieve the jerkiness and all, but you shouldn't be relying on feathering the clutch to do all of the work. You should be matching RPMs to the gear you want to go to vs the speed you are going. As a newbie, that's going to be tough but after a lot of practice it'll smooth out just fine. Also, you should limit the amount of coasting you do at all times. I can literally count the time in seconds I've coasted in a ride to just 2 or 3 tops. It's literally just the last millisecond while in first before I come to a complete stop to prevent the engine from stalling. You do NOT want to be caught with your pants down with 0 power to the rear while moving. A newbie trying to quickly release the clutch while throttling up to match RPMs in an oh shit situation is going to screw the pooch when it really matters. It also adds another layer of crap you have to go through while your in your "oh crap!" situation. The goal to good riding is to keep things as simple as possible and always practice and be consistent. If it startles and alarms you about the sudden deceleration when you let off the throttle or brake, it helps a lot to lower your body posture which lowers the bike's CG. The taller you sit in your saddle, the higher the CG, the more pronounced weight transfer is going to be. Your like a lever. The longer the lever, the more advantage you have to move the lever.

OP unless your car exploded and all you have is your bike, try and exercise a little bit of self restrain and wait until you do your 2 day course before you go out riding. Those 2-3 days of course work will greatly speed up the learning process.
 

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Those are all great tips but based on my experience I still suggest taking it slow (but still taking it) for a few km before the course. It would have made things so much easier for me if I had had a few hours with the bike alone to get to know it rather than sitting on one for the first time in a classroom environment. To each his own ;) . Good luck OP.


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Read page 69 of the manual which tells you how to move off. Page 72 will tell you how to brake in a safe manner. Braking with just the fronts alone can be quite dangerous. You need to learn to use both. It's a good thing you bought the ABS version but as it says on page 73, " it is not a substitute for safe riding practices". Actually, read the manual over and over again so you know your bike well.
The greatest fear I have for you is that you may well drop the bike on yourself and that is going to hurt like hell. You may be able to fix the bike but fixing yourself may be an entirely different matter. A bruised ego will be the least of your problems...
Click on Cruizin's link, Tips 4 New Riders and scroll down to the first video with Wayne Gardener in it. It is invaluable! Good luck and stay safe!
 

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+1 on the motorcycle safety course, if its an option. Made a world of difference to me.
 

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I picked up my Ebony ABS yesterday. Got home late so I didn't have time to try it out. This morning, I took it out for a ride. Let's just say I suck.

Keep in mind, it was my first time on a bike, ever. I had zero experience and everything I learned beforehand was from the internet.

Couple of things I noticed;
-Throttle Sensitivity. My lord, letting it go slightly makes my chest shoot forward.
-I stall the bike. Alot. I'm terrible at getting it going.
-Very Heavy to me.
-Can't flatfoot.

Every bump I hit makes my wrist twist which just makes it worse. It's fast and slow, fast and slow without any control when I hit bumps. I got around this by doing something stupid, and now it's become habit. (I'll get on that later in the post.)

I don't really know the perfect place to start moving the bike. Using the throttle too early just revs the engine, doing it too late stalls it.

Shifting gears is very... Jerky. Up-shifting will shoot the bike forward and downshifting will shoot the bike backward, which shoots me forward. It's not exactly smooth shifting. I'm pretty sure I have to release the throttle a bit while up-shifting and use more when down-shifting, but I could be wrong.

My turns a little wide at times. We have 90 degree turns from stops everywhere, and if I accelerate quickly in the turn it puts me on the other side of the road. This isn't safe, and the only solution I can think of is slow down, turn more, or lean a little bit more than I am.

It's so Heavy to move. I'm afraid I'm going to drop it because it's so heavy to me. I'm a weak guy, so the weight bothers me. I have to turn it around manually and back it up into the garage.

I can't flatfoot. I can get both the tips of my feet down, but that's about it. I don't really want to lower the bike or cut the seat so I think I'll have to deal with it. I usually just put one foot down when I stop anyway.

Any tips for these problems would be appreciated, but those aren't my only problems.

I've created two bad habits.

Firstly, to get around the bump and twist problem, I started to hold the throttle side of the handle by it's edge. Two fingers are on the metal, and two are on the accelerator. This is a problem because I can't reach the front brake doing this.

Secondly, I never use the back brake. My stopping is terrible. From 50km/h, just letting go of the throttle can stop me extremely quickly. I usually gradually let it go when I near the stop, and then crawl up in first to the stop sign. As I reach it, I pull the clutch and the front brake in. This stops me, and I release the brake, check around, and then slowly try to release the clutch until I feel the bike start to move, so I use the throttle. This gets me going.

These are two bad habits that I will have to break. Any tips for this will also be appreciated.


I'm going to take the safety course as soon as I can, but until then, I'll be teaching myself. I need help though, because failing like this is pretty embarrassing.

Even though I have all these problems, I love it. The bike is beautiful and I love the feel of riding it. These problems will not keep me from riding. I'll just have to learn how to ride properly. :eek:


EDIT: Also, I'm hearing some sort of popping sound from the rear when I let off the throttle. Is this normal?
I'd start with your pulling off problem.get the bike on lever ground.start it up.put it in first and release the clutch very slowly.it will feel like it want to go forward or it will slightly nudge forward.find the spot where it just feels like its pulling a bit and then accelerate slightly.so your rev sit around 1500rpm or above.what I did is give it a bit of gas so the revs stay around 1500rpm and release the clutch slowly.when it starts going then you give a bit more petrol and release clutch fully.you should be fine.when going over speed bumps hold in the clutch so that you freewheel over(not to fast)once over,change down if necassary and accelerate.you said that the bike whips you back and forward when changing:try and release the clutch out slower when accelerating and don't forget to blip the throttle(close the throttle and open it up to no more than 4000 for now,as your skill improves you will end up riding harder but this should be enough to start).find a safe place to practice before doing any of this.maybe some grass where damage might be minimal.preferably no other cars or buildings.I know how shit it is being stuck in your predicament.all the best
 

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You might think that having a "heavy" bike is a problem now, but you'll be thanking the heaviness when you're going on a freeway at 70mph+ and the wind feels like it's going to blow you away. Definitely don't want to be as light as a feather then.
 
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